Revised Veterinary Labelling Code published

24 November 2022

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has published the revised Veterinary Labelling Code (VLC), following a review of the labelling requirements and guidance notes for veterinary chemical products. The VLC was last reviewed in 2015.

The revised VLC enshrines the current legislative requirements and best practice guidance, to ensure labels continue to provide appropriate advice for the safe and effective use of veterinary chemical products in Australia.

The objective of the review was to update the VLC to provide clarity for registrants and remove duplication. These revisions will ensure that the VLC provides industry and regulators with clear guidance for relevant labelling requirements.

Following extensive consultation with key stakeholder groups, the VLC has also been redesigned and restructured to improve overall user experience. No legislative changes were made during the review.

What the revised VLC means for product holders

As per the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Regulations 1995 (18E), a label must comply with the requirements of the Labelling Standard or, if there is no Labelling Standard, the Agricultural or Veterinary Labelling Codes made by the APVMA, as in force from time to time.

Existing/registered product labels that were compliant with the VLC published in 2015 do not require amendment to reflect the changes to wording or format in the revised VLC. Any such changes should instead be addressed when the existing label requires a material re-assessment or update, or as determined by the registrant. Any product labels not transferred to the E-label template may require a full review to ensure alignment with the revised VLC.

It is the responsibility of product holders to review the revised VLC and update their product labels to maintain compliance, as necessary. 

The APVMA will continue to follow current procedural pathways related to compliance activities, and the 2-year phase-out period for previously approved marketed labels will still apply where material changes to the registered label are required unless agreed otherwise with the APVMA as per the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (section 81).

If you have any questions about the requirements, please contact us via +61 2 6770 2300 or enquiries@apvma.gov.au.

Your feedback will be submitted to the APVMA anonymously. If you require a response, please contact us.